Catt pounces to win the County Cup for Hemel Hempstead School

The Hemel Hempstead School first XI have won the county cup. Picture (c) Benjamin Thomas
The Hemel Hempstead School first XI have won the county cup. Picture (c) Benjamin Thomas

The Hemel Hempstead School first XI have been crowned County Cup champions after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Mount Grace School.

This was the first time that the school had contested the county final in this age group since 1994, and they earned the win with goals from Harry Hartnell and Sam Catt.

Hemel started the final strongly, with the majority of the play in and around the Mount Grace penalty area.

Catt hit the bar with a header from a Hartnell throw after two minutes, and it was Hartnell who broke the deadlock seven minutes later with a looping header from a corner.

The first half continued in the same way, with Hemel dominating the game as the midfield three of Haydn Cassidy, Andy Richards and Toby Sands maintained possession well, while centre-backs Catt and Dean Breed dominated in the penalty area.

The second half was a different affair, however, as Hemel failed to maintain possession which allowed Mount Grace to come back into the game.

Despite this, Hemel extended their lead with a Catt goal midway through the second half as he pounced on a bouncing ball to fire home.

Hemel’s defence and midfield sat very deep during the second half, meaning that striker Stephen Andric was isolated up front.

Mount Grace continued to move forward and put Hemel under pressure, creating a number of chances before they managed to put the ball into the net following a goalmouth scramble – despite suspicions of handball.

Mount Grace continued to throw players forward as Hemel struggled to get a grip on the game, and they hit the post shortly after they scored.

Both sides had further chances, with Mount Grace thwarted late on by Hemel goalkeeper Tayub Inayat, but the Dacorum side held firm and captain Catt proudly went up to receive the trophy for Hemel School for the first time in 21 years.